[ mak-uh-roon ]
/ ˌmæk əˈrun /
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a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, usually almond paste or coconut, and sometimes a little flour.
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Origin of macaroon

1605–15; <Middle French macaron<dialectal Italian maccarone cake or biscuit made of ground almonds; see macaroni


macaron, macaroon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What’s the difference between a macaroon and a macaron?

A macaroon is a kind of drop cookie made with egg whites, sugar, and often coconut—and sometimes with ground almonds and maybe a little flour. A macaron is a round, colored sandwich cookie made with egg whites, sugar, and often ground almonds, with a buttercream, ganache, or jam filling. Macarons are known for coming in many different flavors and colors.

The two cookies are made with some of the same basic ingredients, including sugar and egg whites, but they have very different appearances and textures.

Macaroons look like this:

Macarons look like this:

However, the sandwich cookie properly known as a macaron is sometimes called a macaroon. (The reverse is not the case—it’s not common for the simple drop cookies usually made with coconut to be called macarons.)

Making macarons requires quite a bit of skill. They’re delicate and often expensive. Macaroons, on the other hand, are much simpler to make—you basically just mix all the ingredients together and then drop balls of the mix onto a cookie sheet. Macaroons are sometimes dipped in chocolate.

To remember the difference (and which spelling to use for each word), remember that macaroon is spelled with two O’s, as is coconut, a common ingredient in macaroons.

Here’s an example of macaroon and macaron used correctly in a sentence.

Example: I asked my mom to make macaroons for my birthday, but she misunderstood and spent all month learning how to make several different flavors and colors of fancy French macarons. 

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between macaroon and macaron.

Quiz yourself on macaroon vs. macaron!

Should macaroon or macaron be used in the following sentence?

The French bakery near me has a display case with a _____ in every color you can imagine, all filled with delicious buttercream.

How to use macaroon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for macaroon

/ (ˌmækəˈruːn) /

a kind of sweet biscuit made of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites

Word Origin for macaroon

C17: via French macaron from Italian maccarone macaroni
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012